The Toronto Maple Leafs Can't Strip Tavares of the Captaincy

Toronto Maple Leafs v Washington Capitals
Toronto Maple Leafs v Washington Capitals / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

Maple Leafs Twitter and Toronto media were in a frenzy when Nick Kypreos reported the Toronto Maple Leafs are seriously considering taking the captaincy away from John Tavares late last week.

If Kypreos' report is true, this could be a disaster for the Toronto Maple Leafs, John Tavares and Auston Matthews, whom they would hand the captaincy to.

Tavares is entering his last year of the seven-year deal he signed in the summer of the 2018-19 season, where he makes 11 million dollars a season against the salary cap (All salary stats from

The 33-year-old has played 440 games for the Leafs, scoring 184 goals and recording 235 assists for 419 points through his first six seasons (All stats from

Taking Away The "C" From Tavares Just Creates Problems

Kypreos framed the process as a handoff from Tavares to Matthews, but I still don't think this does the Leafs any good.

While I agree this is Matthews' team, you can be a leader on the team without the "C" on your jersey. If you were to take the captaincy away from Tavares, it would create a new topic for reporters to ask your stars about.

Naming Matthews the 26th captain in team history with Tavares still on the roster would be a massive story. Every player on the roster must answer questions about it throughout the season. Not only does it create a whole sideshow for a team that could use a season without distractions, but it can also create a weird locker room dynamic.

The Leafs are already going to be faced with questions about how the whole core four is returning and both Marner and Tavares are going to be faced with contract questions throughout the year inevitably.

Not to mention the situation with Nick Robertson.

With all these stories heading into this season before training camp even begins, I find it hard to believe it is going to be a quiet season as is for this team.

I'm struggling to find how this move would help this Leafs team heading into the season. I could see something like this working only if John Tavares is extremely open and willing to pass the torch to Matthews.


Matthews is the face of this team and one of the faces of the league. At the end of this Tavares deal, I think you give him the captaincy regardless if they bring Tavares back on a significantly cheaper deal. If Tavares does re-sign here on a cheaper deal, I think it already symbolizes a newer era of Leafs hockey and you can hand the "C" to Matthews without all the issues.